003 Shine Springs Farm Podcast Episode 3

Episode 003 of the Shine Springs Farm Shinecast features our first interview. Our guest is Margaret Purcell of Katie Farms in Coker, Alabama. Margaret and Jon Fleenor purchased Katie Farms in 2005 and have grown the farm steadily over the past seven years. Visit Katie Farms online. Margaret and Jon started with chickens—free range, of course—and a vegetable patch. Local restaurants … [Read more...]

002 Shine Springs Farm Podcast Episode 2

This week on episode 002 of the Shine Springs Farm Shinecast you hear an update on Shine Springs Farm fall veggie garden, comments on Eliot Coleman's hypothetical ad describing the ideal small farm, Sheree's comments on the importance of real food to personal health and the affordability of real food. Big shout-out this week to Tammy of Agrigirl's Blog for sharing the Shinecast on Facebook … [Read more...]

001 Shine Springs Farm Podcast Episode 1

These are the show notes for episode 1 of the new Shine Springs Farm Shine-cast, a podcast celebrating sustainable farming and more. I’m excited to launch the Shine-cast. I’ll be sharing the story of Shine Springs Farm, a new farm in Northwest Alabama committed to environmental sustainability. Still learning how to use the plugin! Look for the podcast on iTunes as well. And in … [Read more...]

Huntsville Local Foods Tasting to Benefit Food Bank

As part of my research to identify who is working on local food systems in Alabama I had the great fortune of discovering a local foods event in Huntsville, Alabama a few days ahead of time--I usually find out about these types of events the day after or five minutes before. Fortunately, for me, the North Alabama Food Bank has a great local foods initiative underway and lots of information on its … [Read more...]

UVM Food Systems Summit Public Conference: Storify Recap

Last week I was a part of the University of Vermont's Breakthrough Leaders Program. As part of our VERY intensive week of food systems leadership training, the Breakthrough Leaders attended the UVM Public Conference: "Leading the Necessary [r]Evolution for Sustainable Food Systems: AMPLIFIED" held on Thursday, June 28, 2012 from 1-6 p.m. During the public conference I took as many notes as I … [Read more...]

How I Became a Real Food Person

Next week I'll be participating in the Breakthrough Leaders Program as part of the 2012 Food Systems Summit organized and hosted by The University of Vermont. A few weeks ago, the PR team contacted me to answer a series of questions for a profile of participants. I started writing and ended up with way too much material. Rather than trash it, I thought I'd share the "extra" verbiage … [Read more...]

Where Food Comes From: June 2012 Edition

Real food is an integral part of my life and always has been. I was fortunate to grow up here:   And my parents still own and live on this 220-acre farm in Northwest Alabama. They've always had a garden, although the size has varied, depending on their family and professional responsibilities. Now that they've retired, the scope of gardening has picked up again. During my childhood … [Read more...]

Alabama Irrigation Project & Water Management

Even in a water rich state like Alabama, where average annual rainfall is plentiful,  agricultural irrigation can provide the difference between success and failure. Ask anyone who has a backyard garden. For the medium and large-scale farming operations, though, irrigation is not a widely-used practice in Alabama. The absence of irrigation has probably contributed to the decline in agriculture … [Read more...]

Grapevine Grill at Chaumette Vineyards

While wandering around the Soulard Market on August 13, during my last hour in St. Louis, I stopped by the Baetje Farms stall to sample (and purchase) a bit of their divinely-inspired, award-winning goat cheese. I bought the last package of their Bavarian Lemon Creme. As we chatted, I mentioned that I was driving south on I-55 and wanted to stop for a late lunch around Sainte Genevieve. And I … [Read more...]

Epiphany: Tuscaloosa Farm-to-Table

When I moved back to Tuscaloosa in August 2007 to rejoin my old law firm, Rosen Harwood, I was thrilled to find a variety of new restaurants in the downtown area. I don't recall precisely when Chef Tres Jackson launched Epiphany but it instantly became my favorite after my first meal there. From the outset, Epiphany and Chef Tres Jackson focused on local foods and suppliers that used … [Read more...]